Monday, January 28, 2013

Do ancient Chinese characters tell us about God?

Many years ago I was told that the Chinese language contains within it's characters the message of the Bible and in particular the message of the Book of Genesis. Whether that is true or not really doesn't matter for the purposes of this blog though it does seem that there is truth in the claim. If you Google the words 'Chinese characters and the Bible' or 'Genesis' you will get both sides
of the argument. 

As far this blog is concerned it gives me a nice explanation about how an individual is welcome to approach God and to have an eternal relationship with Him. 

The simple truth of the matter is as follows:

1. God created us,
2. By choice the first man sinned and brought sin and death into the world,
3. We have all subsequently sinned and come short of the glorious standard of God,
4. Because of sin we die and after death we will stand before God to be judged,
5. We will all be condemned for our sin and face separation from God which will deprive us of eternal life, peace, joy etc in a eternal realm of judgement called the Lake of Fire.

But there is good news:

1. God sent His Son into our world. He became a perfect, sinless man and faced and exhausted the judgement of God,
2. If we confess our guilt before God we can be saved but only if we receive Jesus Christ,
3. Receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour brings into our possession the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (salvation through the one and only Saviour).

What has the Chinese symbol for the word come got to do with this?

The word involves a tree (Jesus was made a curse by being crucified on a tree, also described as a cross). The symbols on each side of the cross represent people. The word in English is COME. I believe that God says that the only way to come to Him and to approach Him is through the cross. 

The cross is the place where the price was paid so that your sins could be legally dealt with and salvation could be purchased.


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Friday, January 18, 2013

Sex Crimes go unpunished!

"Nearly 99 out of 100 sexual offences go unpunished, official figures reveal", The Metro Thursday 10th Jan 2013. These recent news headlines caught my attention! I was astounded to read that on average nearly half-a-million people claim to have been victims of sex crimes; however just one in ten of those are recorded by the police. Many girls do not go to the police when they have been attacked as they feel that they will not be taken seriously. This is a terrible reflection of the state of morals in our society. Is it the result of trivializing sex in our culture and the value of it's enjoyment within marriage? Do people feel that as anything goes sexually that we should not be surprised when things get out of hand and what could be considered liberty in one setting becomes a crime in another? The bible says 'righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach unto any people' (Proverbs 14. 34). We need to repent of our personal sexual sins (actual and virtual through pornography and the Internet), care for those who are vulnerable and recognise that when standards drop so do the safeguards that protect us from our own evil. Sexual sin and crime starts when we reduce our moral guard and refuse to obey the standards that God has defined for us in His Word, the Bible. 

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Friday, January 11, 2013

NHS Care or don't care!

What a week! We started back into the daily routines of the week having come back from a lovely time away over the festive period. Our son was complaining about having a bad back but over the weekend things developed and we realised that this seemed to be more that just some side affect of his snowboarding trip to Switzerland. On Monday night we took him to Whiston Hospital, Prescot and played 'the waiting game'. Eventually he was seen by a Doctor, after hours of writhing about in pain. The Doctor decided that he should go home, take 48 hours of antibiotics and wait to see if the infection would subside. It didn't and off to the local GP we went on Wednesday evening. The hospital doctor had assured us that if he was no better we would be admitted directly to the hospital without all the A & E 'waiting game' if we visited the local GP first. We duly paid our visit, sat, watched and listened to the GP call the hospital and book our arrival. A letter from the GP was written, signed and handed to my wife.

On arrival at the hospital no one knew anything about the GP's phone call and we joined the queue and were invited to play guess what - 'the waiting game'. Five hours later we eventually got admitted to a ward and see a Doctor. By this time our son was faint, retching with indigestion, having not eaten since three o'clock (as we expected him to be having an operation that evening) and generally exhausted from the infection that was surging through his body. The Doctor was very good and arranged for an anti-sickness drug, IV pain relief and an IV saline drip. As operating would not take place until the next morning our son was allowed to eat and once he was settled we eventually left the hospital at 1.30 am. 

Thankfully on Thursday everything went according to plan and the operation went smoothly. The medical and nursing staff were excellent and we arrived home (after rapidly consuming hospital bangers and mash - my son, not me!). 

When Friday came we had to arrange a visit to a surgery to have the wound dressed. Imagine our surprise when we were told that there were no slots in the surgeries left. NHS treatment in this country is bizarre. You, the patient, have to do all the running about! No one comes to your house (maybe if your are dying) and you have to argue and push even to get the back up care that is needed after you leave hospital. 

This is not meant to be a letter of complaint but an observation that many people in our society would not be able to survive such a system or to battle their way through these procedures to get appropriate treatment when they are ill especially if they live on their own.

As a Christian I am glad that the care procedure of heaven is not like the one we have in this country. The bible says that for those who care to trust him, God will be with us when we go through 'the valley of the shadow'. That if we call He will answer. That those who are weary and burdened with life can come to him for rest. The provision of that rest was expensive; it was purchased by the death of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus, on the cross. On rising from the dead the words of the Lord Jesus became so pertinent - "I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (Gospel of John 11. 25). Do you believe this?

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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Christmas Day TV Program Review

You could be forgiven in thinking that because it is a new year that I have changed direction, or even flipped by introducing this months subject from the standpoint of a TV Reviewer, but here we go!

From Christmas day on, the BBC have excelled in broadcasting three programmes (one in two parts) that have a Biblical content and presented by three well-qualified presenters. The first one was the Queen giving her Christmas message on Christmas afternoon. The second was Joanna Lumley in her ‘Search for the Ark’, and thirdly David Suchet, and his two excellent programmes ‘In the Footsteps of St. Paul.

In 1992 the Queen declared in her Christmas message that her year had been Annus Horribilis. Three of her four children had failed marriages and Windsor Castle had a fire and was seriously damaged. Hearing her 2012 message one could say that the year was Annus Mirabilis, which means, ‘Wonderful Year’. She commented upon the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Thames boat pageant, which was resplendent. Then she reflected upon the London Olympic Games and a Nation in unity of sporting achievements. Then she focussed upon the true purpose and celebration of Christmas. Of the coming into the world of the Son of God, she said, “God sent His only Son to serve and not be served” using His example to encourage us to serve one another. From Christina Rossetti’s Carol ‘In the Bleak Mid-winter’ she quoted the last verse, ‘What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart’. By that quotation she was exhorting the nation to give their hearts to Christ. When she had finished one of my family asked, “Do you think that the Queen is a born again believer?”

Joanna Lumley visited many places in her Search of the Ark programme and she consulted many academics and theologians about the man Noah, his Ark and the Flood. She went to Turkey taking the lead from Genesis 8:4  “And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.”
In consulting the varied views of Judaism, the Quran, Hinduism and the British Museum’s Cuneiform Tablets, the waters became somewhat muddied. She asked, “Where did it all happen? If it did happen?” Pushing her into an agnostic view of things.  

David Suchet began his two programmes stating that the subject of the Footsteps of St. Paul had interested him for twenty-five years, ever since he had first read the Epistle to the Romans in a hotel room. Was it a Bible that had been placed in the bedroom by the Gideon Society? Reading a copy of the scriptures placed in a prison, hotel, school, etc has led to many a person’s salvation. David Suchet said that when learning to act the part of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, he had to learn the walk. Travelling the Roman roads in Philippi Greece and Rome he learned to walk how Paul walked. He estimated that Paul had walked 10,000 miles in his ministry of preaching the gospel. When he was at Ephesus he saw what Paul had to contend with in relation to that city being the centre of idolatry, the worship of Artemas a multi-breasted image. An uproar was caused when the crowd responded to Demetrius the silversmith’s oration against Paul and the gospel, with their repeated shouting of  “Great is Diana of the Ephesians”. Then when he was at Philippi he saw where Paul preached by the riverside, and at Athens where Paul preached at Mars Hill, at Corinth and Cenchrae too. Each place a historic testimony to the fact that Paul preached that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the World. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians, ch.15 the importance of the resurrection of Christ and the fundamental truth, which is the bedrock of the Christian faith. David Suchet read this passage with conviction; he was not acting a part.

A few days before Jesus went to the cross He gathered His disciples in an upper room in Jerusalem. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” The Lord Jesus Christ began by explaining the difference of believing and believing, He said firstly, “Ye believe in God”, which was the essence of Judaism, they believed in Jehovah of the Old Testament.

Each one of the three dignitaries involved in the TV programmes above would unquestionably say that they believe in God. The God who created all things. Then Jesus said, “Believe also in me”. This is believing and believing for it is not sufficient to believe only in God, James 2:19 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” and the devils do not possess salvation. Believing in Christ is the difference between Judaism and Christianity, Jews believe in God but do not believe that Jesus is God the Son, Christians believe both, they believe that Jesus of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old Testament. Paul said to Timothy, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” That is believing and believing!

God bless and a Happy New Year to you all.

Written by Stan Burdit for

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